Middle East

Saudi council rejects proposal for female sports colleges

A proposal to establish sports education colleges for Saudi women has failed to win enough votes in the kingdom's Shura Council, which advises the government.

Saudi media reports said on Wednesday that the proposal on the colleges needed 76 votes to pass, but fell three votes short of that goal.

The proposal, put forth by three Shura Council members, called for the establishment of colleges that would train Saudi women in how to teach fitness and well-being.

Physical education is not on the curriculum for Saudi girls in public schools and some ultraconservative clerics shun the concept of women's exercise as "immodest."

The kingdom has sent women to participate in the Olympic Games twice, with four Saudi female athletes competing in the 2016 games in Rio.